Aerotech News and Review, Aug. 4 2017
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Edwards B-52 completes leaflet bomb drops
A frame from a video shows the PDU-5/B leaflet bomb activating and dispersing the leaflets.
by Kenji Thuloweit
Edwards AFB, Calif.
An important part of U.S. military operations overseas is communicating with the local popula- tion. This can be done in a number of ways, including something as simple as distributing leaflets. In psychological operations, leaflets with messages are often dropped from aircraft in order to
reach a wide area.
Testers from the 419th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., are looking to see
if B-52 Stratofortress bombers can accomplish this task.
The squadron recently completed two successful sorties where a B-52 released eight PDU-5/B
leaflet bombs over the Point Mugu Sea Test Range and eight more over the Precision Impact Range Area on Edwards.
Air Force photograph
“We are primarily looking to see safe separation from the external Heavy Stores Adapter Beam,” said Kevin Thorn, 419th FLTS B-52 air vehicle manager. “We are ensuring that the bombs do not contact the aircraft, and/or each other, creating an unsafe condition. Additionally we are tracking the reliability of the bomb functioning.”
The PDU-5/B is a new-use or variant of an older Cluster Bomb Unit. The original designation for the weapon was the MK 20 Rockeye II, SUU-76B/B, and/or CBU-99/100. The designator changes depending on the type of filler used in the bomb, said Thorn. Having leaflets as a filler designates the bomb as a PDU-5/B.
According to the Air Force, PDU-5/B canisters can deliver about 60,000 leaflets and were deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom before any Air Force munitions began hitting targets in Baghdad, Iraq.
See B-52, Page 3
August 4, 2017• Volume 31, Issue 13
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